Artists, Geneaology, Historical documents, Historical research, Writers

Start with books on local history

old books on shelf


Because it takes so long to do archival research, and because even after many hours of work there’s still a low probability of yielding as much useful information as you may have thought, I recommend that your first research be to seek out local historical publications.

Professional historians and academics spent hours, weeks, months, years even – combing through archival records to track down enough documentation to be able to make blanket statements about historical events, people, trends, and movements. And they add context, maps, and illustrations to supplement the information that also comes from a great deal of research.

Libraries pride themselves on housing books on local subjects – books that are usually unavailable anywhere else .

For background, and substantial information, these local historical and geographical publications can’t be beat and may give you all the historical information you need to write a story, paint a picture, or design an ad campaign.

Be sure to note the citations for photos, maps, and footnotes; as well as taking a look at the bibliography to give you ideas about the source of similar things you might want to take a look at.